Though we say goodbye to summer and enter the first days of Autumn, that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! March is bringing all of the goodness to Auckland and we’re here to tell you where to be, places to see and treats to eat all month long. For all you seafood lovers, we get to be the bearer of good news and announce March is the beginning of the Bluff Oyster season! It’s also the month for the Auckland Arts Festival, bottomless champagne, St. Paddy’s, coffee, and fashion for a month of activities that everyone can get behind. Go on, start planning your fabulous month ahead—you can thank us later.
Auckland Arts Festival | 1 March—25 March
Over the course of 25 days, Auckland Arts Festival takes over all corners of this wonderful city. Taking over galleries, libraries, theaters, and everything in between, you’ll discover art in ways you never thought possible. Get lost in mirrors, listen to poly-futurist music, walk through galleries, watch some classic plays reimagined, and welcome international acts onto our stages. All roads at this festival will lead you back to the iHeartRadio pop-up hangout space at the Aotea Arts Precinct. Meet up for a show, enjoy live music and grab a delicious meal made especially for the festival—you’ll need to fuel up for the art-filled, wonderful festival ahead!
2018 Auckland Lantern Festival | 2 March—4 March
Well and truly an Auckland staple for the whole family, it’s time to make way for even more memories at the Lantern Fest celebrating the Year of the Dog! You have the whole weekend to enjoy hundreds of handmade lanterns and stuffing yourself with the very best of Chinese food and drink! Entertainment includes music, dance and theatre performers from both New Zealand and China, martial arts displays and workshops, arts and craft stalls and a fireworks finale! With amusement rides for this kids, karaoke and DJ stages, short films, sugar artists, calligraphy and so much more, there is no shortage of good times!
The First Haul—All You Can Eat Bluff Oysters | 2 March
We’re more than happy to announce Oyster season is back and Euro is celebrating big time with All-You-Can-Eat Oysters! Every year, Euro’s executive chef Gareth Stewart flies down to Bluff to collect the first bluff oyster haul and bring them back to our shores. With more than 1000 dozen bluff oysters, this event is absolutely not to be missed. With all you can eat freshly shucked oysters served au naturel, Kilpatrick, tempura and Rockefeller style, round up your biggest seafood-lovers for a feast of a lifetime. It doesn’t stop there—the menu also includes drool-worthy kaimoana platters AND a glass of champagne on arrival!
Fiesta On O’Connell Street | 2 March
It’s a big ol’ block party at the Fiesta on O’Connell Street! Lounge on the street and listen to the sweet Latino beats from DJ Corysco, Lucas Datt and Bobby Brazuka from Latino Aotearoa! The famously beautiful Brazilian Divas will be also there for some magic performances in those stunning Brazilian costumes. There’s a whole line-up of events from 12pm, and from 3pm the kids will be well-entertained with face painting and even a treasure hunt from Bohemian Chocolates! Score some one-day specials from the variety of retailers on O’Connell Street, and you will be well-fuelled from the street-themed tapas and small plates available from the delectable eateries!
Auckland Cup Week | Vodafone Derby Day | 3 March
Back and better than ever, Auckland Cup Week kicks off with the Vodafone Derby Day this March. Part one of two magical days, Vodafone Derby Day is all about glitz, glam and partying—Champagne in hand, of course. Dress to the nines, don a headpiece, take to the runway and you might just take out the national fashions in the field final, Viva Prix de Fashion, with a $15,000+ prize at stake. And, trust us, you’ll be on the edge of your seat as the horses gallop past in all the races—particularly the million-dollar one. Go horsies, go!
Auckland City Limits | 3 March
To say we’ve been looking forward to Auckland City Limits would be an understatement! Future headlines this epic day fest that keeps us all coming back for more. The lineup doesn’t stop there with performances from Peking Duk, Beck, Justice, Tash Sultana, and George Ezra just to name a few! Not only that, but ACL is looking after the future festival-lovers with FREE entry for kids under 10 with any adult ticket for Auckland Kiddie Limits! This dedicated kids space features pirate games, photo booths, karaoke, face painting and small-sized rock ‘n’ roll! The food line up is just as epic as the artists, with food legends Blue Breeze Inn, Café Hanoi, Hawker & Roll, Farina and Lowbrow all joining the party to keep you fueled all day long.
Haier Big Hoot | 3 March
Just when you thought this month couldn’t get any better, it’s about to turn into a real hoot! The Big Hoot will turn Auckland’s streets into homes for 46 giant owls decorated by some of New Zealand’s most well-known emerging artists, joined by 60 smaller owls decorated by students from Auckland schools. They’ll be pretty hard to miss at 1.65 metres tall! Brought to us by Child Cancer Foundation and the international creator of Wild in Art, it’s Auckland’s biggest-ever public art trail. After running for 10 weeks, the owls will be auctioned to raise funds for the charity—cute AND awesome!
Paws in Parnell—Year of the Dog Edition | 4 March
Your pooch’s favourite market, Paws in Parnell is back for the year this March! Since it’s the Year of the Dog and everything, you best spoil your pooch quick stat—good karma and all that. Stocked to the brim with everything dog related that you and your doggy best friend could ever need. Everything is lovingly made right here in our beautiful country, and you won’t find them anywhere else! Treat your dog to the market and then stroll over to the Dogs of Art Exhibition—it’s the last day these pieces will be on display before being auctioned off to charity.
All-You-Can-Eat Bluff Oyster Long Lunch | 6 March
Back and better than ever to treat your taste buds, Harbourside Ocean Bar’s annual All You Can Eat long lunch is here! Not just any old long lunch, either—with all you can eat fresh bluff oysters to ring in the new season, you won’t want to miss this. Sip on your G.H. Mumm Champagne on arrival, and slurp your way through natural oysters, as well as battered, Kilpatrick and panko crumbed! That’s not all— there are Big Glory Bay Salmon, Wakanui Beef and so much more for nothing short of a gastronomic feast.
The Vegan Truck Stop | 8 March
This is the monthly event every plant-based foodie looks forward to! There’s no exclusion at The Vegan Truck Stop though—whatever food you’re partial to, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this jaw-dropping, lip-smacking vegan feast! The food truck line-up is looking nothing short of spectacular, with The Rolling Pin, Wise Boys Burgers, Double Dutch Fries, Otherside and so much more making an appearance. With both indoor and outdoor seating, live music and drinks flowing from the bar, it sounds like you have your first Thursday of March sorted!
Bluff Banquet | 9 March
Bluff Oyster season is in full swing and Regatta Bar & Eatery is hosting a Bluff Banquet to celebrate! This banquet lunch features all you can eat natural bluff oysters, as well as chef creations like oyster sabayon with champagne foam, and charred pickled pearl onion and parsley crisp. There will be a live oyster shucking smack bang in the middle of the restaurant, so you can walk up and slurp up your oyster as soon as they’re opened! You may be drooling at the thought, but if your company of choice is one of those crazy oyster haters, no fear! The banquet will feature a load of other dishes from both the land and sea. You’ll even score champagne on arrival as a cherry on top.
Auckland Cup Week | Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day | 10 March
Head to Ellerslie Racecourse for part two of Auckland Cup Week—aka Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day. Arguably the most prestigious day on New Zealand’s racing calendar, the event gives Aucklanders a chance to dress up and cheer on the country’s best horses. Our advice? Go hard or go home—it’s the last raceday on The Auckland Racing Club’s calendar before the cooler months arrive. So, live it in the sell-out precincts on course and stick around for the on-site after-party.
Let’s Brunch Weird Together | 10 March
Auckland’s brunch scene leveled up when Lula’s Bottomless Brunch came knocking, and this weekend they’re turning up the tempo even higher! You’ll be jumping out of bed making a beeline for this unreal brunch occasion—kicking off at 11am, Lula’s is clearing the tables to make way for two hours of bottomless brunch grazing tables and bottomless mocktails, mimosas, prosecco and Bloody Mary’s! All day entertainment will be provided by Weird Together, DJ Brazuka and DJ Hamish Crocker for a weird, wonderful and boozy brunch of your dreams.
Kumeu Show 2018 | 10 March—11 March
The 96th Annual Kumeu Show is back for some fun for the whole family! Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into the hustle and bustle of the world champion axemen, highland dancing competition, vintage tractors, shearing competition and even a giant pumpkin competition! Though you might not excel in any of these, you’ll find loads of entertainment, rides, animals, and food galore to keep the whole family well-entertained!
Rosé Discovery Night | 14 March
Is “rosé all day” your motto? Learn more about this beautiful pink wine with wine experts John Trail and Valentina Verado at the Rosé Discovery Night at the Quality Hotel. Taste your way through the varieties of rosé and learn about the story behind each, including how its made, tasting notes and the ever-important food matching advice. There’ll even be competitions and special offers for the rosés of the night—you’ll be sure to impress your next dinner party guests with all that newly acquired expert wine knowledge!
The Great Bluff Lunch | 15 March
You’ve worked hard, and now it’s time to treat yo’self. Euro is helping you do just that at The Great Bluff Lunch! Celebrate the return of our beautiful oyster with a five-course set menu starring the jewels of the sea including crayfish, whitebait, and of course—Bluff Oysters! Oh, did we mention there’s free-flowing champagne? Yep, now is about time to round up your seafood (and champagne!) loving squad.
St Patrick’s Festival 2018 | 17 March
Us lucky New Zealanders get to be the first in the world to celebrate many occasions, and St Patrick’s Day is no exception! Ireland’s national day comes to Ponsonby Road at the St. Patrick’s Parade to paint the town green! Expect a vibrant collection of musicians, dancers, bands, floats, and leprechauns making their way to Western Park. From 11am to 6pm the park will play host to the bustling Irish Music and Dance Festival and you’ll party like the Irish (very well), showcasing traditional music, dance, and costumes, plus a range of tasty fare!
4 Days of Fashion in the City | 21 March—24 March
It’s all going down in High Street for Fashion in the City! Taking place over four days of fashion-filled fun, get amongst all things good lookin’! From a unique fashion show, an international street theatre performance, to a designer garage sale and so much more, this is every fashion lovers’ dream come to life! Brands including moochi, Mi Piaci, Aesop, Sunglass Hut, Timberland, RUBY, and heaps more are joining in on the fun so you’ll be sure to find something for any fashion flavour!
New Zealand Coffee Festival 2018 | 24 March
Taking over an even bigger space this year for even more caffeine-fuelled, coffee goodness, the New Zealand Coffee Festival is back to impress. After the last two years of sell-out events, this is an epic mix of coffee, food, and music like you’ve never seen it before. Get ready to get caffeinated, educated and downright delighted at this coffee celebration that Auckland’s growing coffee scene deserves!
Sunday Sessions | 25 March
Tiger is bringing you the epic Sunday session you’ve been waiting for, right by the Viaduct Waterfront! Sunday Sessions will be full of sweet sounds, good eats and drinks galore on the deck at cool vibe masters White & Wong’s. This weekend the DJ legend Tim Phin will have the decks well-covered, while you enjoy an exclusive Tiger menu including Tiger Shuttles, Tiger Buckets, Froze Cocktails and more!
Royal Easter Show | 29 March—2 April
This is about to be one of the best Royal Easter Shows yet! Celebrating A&P for a whopping for 175 years, Aucklanders young and old flock to this ginormous festival of fairground food, fun, and rides! You’ll get to score FREE entry into this wonderland of classic fair food, fireworks and a fluffy animal (or fifty!). Plus, if you go on Thursday you can even get in on their “Friends Ride Free” deal where yep—you and a friend will ride the rollercoasters, Ferris wheels and gravity-defying rides for half the price!
The Lion King | 30 March
Many have confidently called this their favourite Disney movie and we can understand why—it’s an absolute classic! Silo Park is taking Friday Films old school for the Disney film to end all Disney films to kick off your weekend right. Get in early to nab perfect viewing vantage, grab some sundowners and a food truck dinner for a perfect night out. We’re sure you’re going to get hit with some serious nostalgia, this is one unforgettable adventure to watch under the stars.
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Image Credit: The Kumeu Show